Degrowth Utopias in the 70s and Today: A Conversation with Anthony Galluzzo

The EDC Book Club met on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 to talk with New York-based writer and academic Anthony Galluzzo about his new book, Against the Vortex: Zardoz and Degrowth Utopias in the Seventies and Today, in conversation with EDC curators Mike Degani and Anand Pandian and others. If you’re curious (as we hope you are, as it was a fascinating chat), here’s the recording.

Here’s more on the book itself, available here from publisher CollectiveInk:

“Alongside scientific knowledge and collective effort, building a degrowth ecological society will require a different set of stories and myths than the big and fast Promethean fables we’re accustomed to. Using Boorman’s Zardoz as a tool, Against The Vortex unearths the artistic and intellectual output of a decelerationist 1970s, with an eye toward imagining a very different sort of future.”

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  1. This was a great chat, and @Anthony is one of the sharpest critics of eco-modernism and its death-repressing fantasies.

    As we covered over the course of our discussion, this is one of the best things I’ve read in a while, in part because it rescues a seemingly forgotten strain of 1970s era countercultural ecology. This was all but snuffed out by Silicon Valley’s libertarian “California ideology” in the 80s and 90s. But it’s a rich resource for thinking about the climate crisis today. It’s easy to roll your eyes at hippie sellouts, but before they all bought Apple stock, and before the crises of accumulation were temporarily resolved by structural adjustment, there was a brief window in which at least some of them realized that we can’t go on like this, and that turning the world into an armed spaceship with artificial life support is a dead end. Pretty sure they were right then, and they’re right now.